Following his interview on Soccer AM this weekend, Roger Johnson didn’t cover himself in glory with Wolves fans. Richard Hobbs shares his views on the outcast.
With our good start to the season and with more pressing things to worry about like our defensive lapses or occasional bluntness going forward, I had pretty much forgotten about Roger Johnson still being at Wolves up until this weekend. On Saturday he appeared on Soccer AM prior to our game against his former club, Birmingham City.
On the show, he couldn’t fully open up about his feeling about his situation due to his contractual obligations. But he did give an insight into his day to day life at the moment. The interview made quite awkward viewing for me; he lacked any fight or enthusiasm when answering Max and Helen’s questions. I was on the verge of feeling sorry for him. That was until he was asked why he just didn’t leave the club.
His answer, in short, was he would be giving up a fair amount of money if he tore up his contract. It was an honest answer from Johnson. How many of us have put up with a job because of the financial implications of quitting? But in the same interview he said that all he wanted was the chance to play.
He does not seem to understand the incredibly privileged position he is in having the opportunity to play football for a living. So many of us have will have dreamt in our younger years of playing professionally for our boyhood club. Some may have even been on the brink about making it as a pro and missed out through unfortunate circumstances or misfortune. If he does want to play football, there are 100’s of clubs he could play. Jamie O’Hara looks set to move to America, but plenty of British player have moved to places like Scandinavia to ply their trade if he can’t find a club in England to play for. Though he would not be on as much money as he currently, surely it’s better to be playing somewhere, repairing his reputation and career.
If his primary concern is about money, surely coming to an arrangement with the club is the best option. With Johnson on around £25,000 a week, he will earn the best part of £800,000 before tax between now and when his contract expires at the end of June next year. I’m almost certain Jez Moxey is striving to make a deal with Johnson and his agent to release him for a lump sum of around half his contract, presumably what happened with Jamie O’Hara.
Johnson mentioned in his interview that people can’t see the politics around him at the moment and all people see is “he’s wanted or not”. Yes, very few know fully what is going on behind the scenes at the club and there is certainly more to the Bomb Squad’s status than meets the eye. But it is up to him to convince clubs they might want to sign him. Nearly everyone from the bomb squad has managed to teams to sign them.
If you ask general fans of football about Roger Johnson, they will probably mention being relegated three seasons in a row and when he turned up to training half cut. O’Hara at least tried a positive PR campaign with training regimes in America and pushed to go on trials. If Johnson had any idea of his image, he could have addressed the drinking incident in and how he is trying to improve as a person instead of playing the ‘woe is me’ card in the interview.
Before this weekend Roger Johnson seemed unlikely to get a move out of the club anytime soon. After his interview, I can’t see any manager wanting him at their club either. He has two choices. He can either sit on his arse for the next eight months, pick up a very nice wage and no one come in for him next summer. Or he can lower his demands, find a club to rebuild his career at and enjoy the sport once again. Out of the two, I know what I would do.
Richard Hobbs – @richardhobbs6 The Football Blogging AwardsThank you to all who voted for me and the Fancast for best new blogger and podcast respectively in the Football Blogging Awards so far. Amazingly, both the Fancast and I have been shortlisted in our categories! The voting count has gone back to zero now we have enter the finalist stage, and we’re calling upon you to help us out once more and vote again. If you’ve enjoyed the podcasts, the interviews with the likes of Scott Golbourne, and you’ve enjoyed this blog and any of the others I’ve wrote on here; please spare a couple of minutes to vote for both of us. We have hugely appreciated all your support over the last few weeks and we thank you if you have voted for us at this year’s awards. So even if Wolves miss out on some silverware this season, me and the Fancast might be able to bring some home for the Gold and black army! All the details on how to vote can be found here https://wolvesfancast.com/2014/10/14/vote-for-wolves-fancast-at-the-football-blogging-awards-2014/